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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Kids Crafts: Sewing

sewing activity for kids

Of course, this doesn't really qualify as a craft in my mind... it is more like an essential skill for a well-rounded person, but, that's just my opinion :)

Around 2½, I had made some cut-out sewing toys for her, which I am sure helped her fine motor skills, and focus and concentration. Of course, not knowing the ready-made kits available then, I fumbled around with it till I arrived at a reasonable replica...

And, I remember being paranoid about letting Ana handle the needle and thread at 3, but, thanks to her wonderful teacher, a trained Montessori guide, I realized that by about 3½ Ana was able to measure the thread and cut a certain amount, thread the needle and sew little haphazard running stitches on to prepared fabric.

That's all I needed to set up a little Sewing Activity Kit for her back then. Something that she can choose to do if she feels like it. Something that is all ready in one container, easily accessible in her room by her table... where she can dump it back part-way if she is bored, and pick up later where she left off last.

I collect scraps from my sewing projects just for this Sewing Activity Kit - fleece and cotton are my favorites. I use the fleece scraps to cut little shapes like flowers, leaves, circles, squares; and cut the cotton scraps to either 5x5 or 5x6 or 6x6 or 4x6 inch pieces on which to sew the fleece forms. Plus some threaded needle, extra spool of thread, a pair of scissors and glue completes this Sewing Activity Kit.

Since the pieces can move and cause frustration, the first step I got her into the habit of doing is to glue the fleece pieces she wants to sew on to the chosen size cotton fabric.

Then, just the up-down/in-out motion of the threaded needle through the fabric becomes the sewing project.

Of course, she shares the frustration I mentioned earlier, so, I end up tying off the thread and starting a new one for her.

Usually, this changeover is when she decides she's going to "save the work for later"... which is fine by me.

Over the last year or so, she probably has voluntarily chosen this activity at home, maybe just about a dozen times... but that's a dozen times more than I ever did this activity at her age...

And, it is not as if she is a born seamstress or anything - she takes her time, and the stitches are uneven - but, since she is just 4½, I am not complaining... not at all.

The only rules: don't poke yourself; keep the needle away from your face; do the activity where Og cannot reach you or the needle; and when done, the needle gets safely stuck on the fabric before getting dropped into the container to be put away in the cubby where Og cannot get to it... (yeah, I am still paranoid about letting her handle the needle, but, am trying to get over it)

If the Kit survives another year, it would be nice to see how Oggie takes to this activity...

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At 5:25 AM, Anonymous utbtkids said...

Sewing is life essential for a well rounded individual???

Well, that is one life skill that I am deficient of..... well, not taking in to account kolam with kolam maavu/ma-kolam, string flowers.... Ok, I better stop before I give myself a complex.

But my children can sew buttons :)))
Thanks to their Montessori. May be I must train them to take care of my sewing needs :)

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Lol, utbtkids! ya, I don't take myself seriously and glad you didn't either! Sewing is right up there with cooking in my domestic mind - not exactly a 'life-skill' like swimming, but an essential skill for well-roundedness nonetheless... considering how many of D's slacks and shirts and my clothes and kids' clothes I have mended over the years, saving them from premature expulsion from the wardrobe :)


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